Golubtsi (stuffed cabbage leaves)

Sorry for completely disappearing on ya! Hopefully you follow me on Facebook and saw that I announced I would take a little break from blogging and weren’t surprised to keep seeing those delicious looking chocolate covered cheesecake lollipops every time you loaded the page. For over a month. But anyways, this whole hot and cold act I’ve been putting on with this blog is going to stop because I quit my day job last week (today is actually my very first day “off”) which means a lot more cooking. And blogging. And sharing. I hope you’re as excited as I am. Yay for more Russian treats!!


Speaking of sharing, I received 2 emails from 2 different Elinas in the last 2 months. I’ve never ever met another Elina before (and yes, Elina and Elena are two different names!) – let alone 2- so this is exciting. What’s even more exciting – my fellow Elinas love Eastern European food as much as I do and they’ve been sharing some

Baked Russian hand pies (pechionii pirojki)


This little intro is going to (a little prematurely) excite my parents (and probably grandmas once my parents decide to share this little nugget with everyone they encounter)… but hell, I might as well say it… I’ve been thinking about my future kids lately. A lot. At some point a few months ago, out of nowhere, the idea of being a mother stopped being uncool, completely hypothetical and something I probably “had to do” and became a lot more real and sort of exciting (could it be because I’m getting that much closer to the big 3-0?). Before you-know-who gets a little too excited, let’s be clear. I am not pregnant and I don’t plan on being pregnant for at least a year and a half (or longer, depending on where I am in my career, house plans, etc.). But like I said, I have started thinking about it and actually imagining what it would be like.

Of course being the food-obsessed self, after wondering whether I’d be the good cop or the bad cop (actually that one is easy, Adam will be caving with one look at

Meat stuffed peppers (farshirovanie perzi)

Sorry it’s been over a month since my last post. I got overwhelmed with other stuff but I’m back for real this time. I promise. Anyways, this is what I really came here to tell you about……

I’m a few weeks away from my 29th birthday. 29th!! May I remind you that in case you aren’t as dramatic about it as I am 29 is ONE year away from 30? There is a lot of pressure to make the last year of my 20’s just a little more exciting because you see, I’ve gotten kind of comfortable over the recent years. Some may call it boring. Shhh


If I so wished, I could have something on the calendar for every night of the week (and sometimes I do) but the truth is that most days I can’t wait to come home after work, put my hair up in a pony tail and change into my pjs. Fancy social events can wait for another day! Tonight, a simple plate of comfort food (nothing fancy!) at home feels

Kotleti (tastes like meatballs?)

Last weekend, Adam (my husband) and I spent a weekend in Maine at my parents in law’s vacation home. The house is in the middle of nowhere, with limited cell service and only dial-up internet, which makes for the perfect getaway spot if all you want is wind down from a hectic city life (I LOVE living in the city by the way, but sometimes I crave the kind of relaxation you can only get when you leave the computer and a mile-long to do list behind). Cold weather with nothing productive on the agenda, left for plenty of time to cook… and that’s just the way I like it!


My mother in law and I alternated cooking meals and over 4 days away went through dozens of recipes. So much fun! For our last lunch before leaving I wanted to make something Russian – something my mom would possibly make for the family in this kind of situation. Kotleti it was! [Btw, I recall this was one

Azu (Turkic meat and potato stew)


This is my dad’s specialty – a meat and potato stew-like dish of Turkic origin. He has like 2 things in his repertoire (this Azu and a seafood stew) so it’s always a treat. The meat cooks for 6+ hours until it melts in your mouth. The pickles add a nice sour fresh bite and the raisins round it out with some sweetness. A perfect dish on a cold winter day! Open-mouthed smile

Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings)

1.75 lbs stew meat, cut into 2” chunks 2-2.5 lbs potatoes 1/2 lb pickles 3 oz tomato paste 1/2 can crushed tomatoes (approx. 7 oz) 1/2 cup raisins salt, pepper, sugar to taste oil for frying


1. Quickly brown beef over medium-high heat. Do not cook through.


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